165 words about 100 Boyfriends
Ghost in the sex machine
The men who inhabit Brontez Purnell’s 100 Boyfriends fuck a lot. Like, a lot — and he makes sure you know it, too; rare is the first, oh, let’s say 200 words of any given story that does not frankly describe getting picked up, tricked out, driven in. They also never last long enough to walk around aimlessly, toward the end just meandering, oh no; Purnell revels in heedlessly wielding sex like a blunt instrument, one swift blow to the body after another. You quickly lose track of the vodka and cartoons, the cocaine, the bathhouses and foreign countries, and it’s easy to guess how that feels after 10 boyfriends, let alone 100. The idea of a “boyfriend” typically implies some kind of permanence, but there’s a crater in these stories where a number in the title lies. There are no boyfriends here, not really; there is only visceral romantic unfulfillment, a polluting desire to be the ghost who haunts your heart, not your sex.